By JOE GURINA
THE president of the Football Federation of Papua New Guinea (FFPNG) John Kapi Natto has overcome rough seas and berthed the ship NPL into calm waters with a successful grand final last Saturday at the PNG Football Stadium.
The grand final showdown for National Premier League (NPL) is a testament that the new soccer league has promising future ahead in years to come.
The soccer advocate fell out with the Papua New Guinea Football Association (PNGFA) after certain administrative issues and established the new league
“I have proved it despite critics and I am humbled today to witness the first grand final of the new sanctioned league,” Kapi Natto said in his speech during the presentation of awards.
“I thank Hekari and Papaka for making it into the grand final for the men’s division and also Hekari and Prima Power FC in the women’s division for your efforts this season,” he said.
“I recognize and thank the support from sponsors that made it possible for a successful season.
“Big thanks to Fabian Chow and his company Lae Biscuits, PRK (Petroleum Resource Kutubu) and MRDC for your generous support in making this league successful in its first season come to an end with a successful grand final witnessed today.
“They (sponsors) will come back to support us next year after being impressed with the overwhelming turn up of crowd today.
“We have a simple moto-Our game, our people, our country, which is basically to promote soccer at the rural level.
“I expect the league to come bigger and better next year.”
Representative of MRDC and chief operation officer John Twaim said: “It’s a historic moment. Nine months ago I was with and supported John Kapi Natto in his dreams.
“And it’s all of us here tonight that has made it happen. Supporters, players, sponsors and John Kapinato and your good wife Vonnie, we all worked hard for it and today is history in the making.”
Twain confirmed MRDC’s support to the league next year’s season.
Acting chairman of NPL Madiu Andrew thanked the sponsors for their backing and threw down the gauntlet for the successful season for NPL.
“Today we demonstrated the true spirit of football. We have set the phase and the level of football in the country.”